In a nostalgic return to his iconic role as Axel Foley, Eddie Murphy opened up about the challenges he faced while filming the long-awaited fourth installment of the Beverly Hills Cop franchise. The actor shared exclusive insights with People, revealing that reprising the character he first portrayed 40 years ago for Beverly Hills Cop 4 was no walk in the park.
The Physical Demands
“It was a hard one,” Eddie Murphy admits, explaining that when he first portrayed Axel Foley he was in his 20s. The actor, now 62, joked that he is no longer in his 20s. “So it was a rough one,” he said, alluding to the physical demand of Beverly Hills Cop 4. “But we got through it.”
While promoting his recent comedy, You People, Eddie Murphy disclosed the physical toll Beverly Hills Cop 4 took on him. “It’s a really physical movie, and I had to do some physical stuff.” Murphy joked that he’s more of a couch potato than a runner, but for the fourth installment of Beverly Hills Cop, he had to be a runner, plus also a jumper and a shooter. “At the end of the movie, I had a knee brace, and my back is messed up.” Murphy said though he admitted it might all be worth it because “the movie is gonna be special.”
Eddie Murphy Was In His 20s When The First Film Released
The original 1984 film catapulted Eddie Murphy to international stardom. The movie featured Murphy’s character, Axel Foley, a Detroit detective, venturing to southern California to solve the murder of his childhood friend. The unorthodox methods of Foley initially clash with local lawmen, but they eventually form a camaraderie to bring down the bad guys.
Having reprised the role in 1987’s Beverly Hills Cop II and 1994’s Beverly Hills Cop III, Eddie Murphy’s return to Axel Foley after decades presented its own set of challenges. The much-anticipated Beverly Hills Cop 4 has been in the works for several years, with Murphy even being attached to a scrapped TV series centered around Foley’s son.
Murphy Turned Down Multiple Beverly Hills Cop 4 Scripts
Discussing the journey to creating Beverly Hills Cop 4, Eddie Murphy revealed the critical role producer Jerry Bruckheimer played in bringing the project to life. Until Bruckheimer jumped on board the project, Murphy said he’d read “five or six” scripts trying to bring back Axel, but none of them were right. “Jerry Bruckheimer got back in there, and he knows his s–t. And he put it together…. He put all the pieces in place that were required for us to make a great movie. I’m really excited for people to see it,” Murphy explained.
Beverly Hills Cop: Axel Foley
Beverly Hills Cop 4, officially titled Beverly Hills Cop: Axel Foley, was written by Will Beall, Tom Gormican, and Kevin Etten with Bruckheimer — known for producing extremely profitable franchises like The Pirates of the Caribbean and Bad Boys — producing. Eddie Murphy is also producing, as are Chad Oman and Melissa Reid.
Kevin Bacon Joins The Franchise
Netflix announced in 2022 that original cast members Judge Reinhold, John Ashton, Paul Reiser, and Bronson Pinchot would return for Beverly Hills Cop 4. Joining them and Eddie Murphy are new faces, including Kevin Bacon, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and actress Taylour Paige, known for her role in Zola.
Despite the physical toll, Eddie Murphy is confident in Beverly Hills Cop 4’s potential. However, no matter how great Murphy says it is, the public will have to wait and see. Beverly Hills Cop: Axel Foley currently lacks an official release date, leaving fans eagerly anticipating the return of the beloved detective to the big screen.